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Day of the Dead (2008)
Not A Good Day
This has to be one of those remakes that makes you cringe every time you think of the original while you watch it.
A mysterious virus plagues a small Colorado town, and the Army is called in to retain order and quarantine the area. What they don't know is that the virus will soon turn those who are infected into bloodthirsty zombies who, frankly, seem to have more energy than a talented gymnast.
While these zombies run, jump real high and scale ceilings to capture their victims, a small group of people band together and try to fight them off while fleeing at the same time.
A talented cast (Mena Suvari, Ving Rhames, Stark Sands, Michael Welch and Ian McNeice) is wasted, despite a few good lines. Regardless, rent the George A. Romero original.
Filmed in Bolgaria, but oddly looks like Colorado.
Kids Will Be Kids
Based on the popular TV series, the four foul-mouthed elementary school boys Stan, Kyle, Cartman, and Kenny sneak into an R-rated movie featuring their favorite duo, Terrence and Phillip. Soon after, almost all the kids in the South Park, Colorado community see the movie.
But the parents start launching a campaign against the film, its stars, and the country it came from...our northern neighbor, Canada. This is only after the kids who saw the movie start imitating the raunchy, vulgar language depicted in the film.
Although it gets awfully raunchy and foul-mouthed at times, it's still a smart, funny little satire. Some scenes will even make you laugh so hard that you'll start to cry. There are also some scenes that are a little creepy because they are so truthful...an example of the great satire in this film.
Forrest Gump (1994)
As Sweet As, Well, A Box of Chocolates
Tom Hanks portrays Forrest Gump, a simple-minded but charming man who hails from the town of Greenbow, Alabama. Through the eyes of Forrest Gump, we look at various moments throughout history, including a realistic Vietnam War re-creation and a rather amusing one that refers to the Watergate scandal.
Sally Field plays his loving mother, and Robin Wright plays Jenny...the girl he met as a boy and thinks about constantly no matter the situation. Gary Sinise is Lt. Dan Taylor, who Forrest meets in Vietnam and forms a relationship as the film progresses.
A great cast is led by a terrific director, Robert Zemeckis. A tad longer than it should be, but still a great film! It proves that you don't have to be smart to find success in life...or even LIVE it.
Campy Comic Book Fun!
What do these have in common: Dead people coming back to life, alien weeds, a monster living on a college campus, and cockroaches? The answer? Those are things featured in five stories in CREEPSHOW, a fantastic homage to the horror comics of the 1950s.
George A. Romero (1978's DAWN OF THE DEAD) and Stephen King (author of CUJO) teamed up with makeup artist Tom Savini (FRIDAY THE 13TH) to make this horror film that features an almost all-star cast. The cast features Ted Danson, Hal Holbrook, Ed Harris, E.G. Marshall, Viveca Lindfors, Leslie Nielsen, Adrienne Barbeau, and even Stephen King himself.
An interesting bit of trivia: The marble ashtray (which plays a major role in CREEPSHOW's first story) is featured in all five of the film's stories if you look closely. (thanks to the IMDb)
Death Sentence (2007)
A Great Revenge Thriller!
Kevin Bacon, Garrett Hedlund, Kelly Preston, and other talented actors star in this very intense movie based on Brian Garfield's novel.
Bacon plays Nick Hume, a mild-mannered businessman who has a loving family. One night his son is killed during a hold-up, and the gang members responsible get away. With the grief of losing a son and the frustration he feels at the local justice department, Hume decides to "get even" with the gang members who killed his son by killing them. The result is violent and intense, with eye-popping stunts and chase scenes.
Almost like a "Death Wish" for the 21st Century!
Mr. Brooks (2007)
...is Really a Serial Killer (!)
Kevin Costner plays well-respected and successful businessman Earl Brooks, who has a loving wife and pretty daughter. But he also is a serial killer that detective Tracy Atwood (Demi Moore) is trying to capture.
The film gives us a chance to experience the thoughts of a crafty, "professional" serial killer -- thanks to the great performance by Costner and the addition of his character's conscience (played by William Hurt). Dane Cook does a good job as a man who wants to experience "the rush" of killing somebody. There's also a wow of an ending.
Takes place in Oregon but filmed in Louisiana.
28 Weeks Later (2007)
...and London is Being Re-Populated with People (well, kind of)
Sequel to "28 Days Later..." has Donald Harris (Robert Carlyle) being reunited with his two children while the U.S. military is assisting with re-populating London after clearing out the virus that caused everyone to become flesh-eating zombies in the first film. Unfortunately, the virus comes back to wreak more havoc in the city.
Entertaining but a lot more gory than its predecessor, with some truly unpleasant but still effective scenes. But it isn't as good as it should be (or that we hope it will be).
Robert Carlyle turned down a role in "28 Days Later...", and some of this film's second unit direction was done by Danny Boyle, who directed the original.
28 Days Later... (2002)
...and London is Deserted (well, almost)
Scary, atmospheric, almost realistic zombie film about a man (Cillian Murphy) who awakens after a coma to find London completely deserted...with the exception of ferocious, bloodthirsty zombies. Soon he meets other survivors who are trying to do the same as him...stay alive.
A rather different approach to the "zombie movie" genre. Proof that a truly effective horror thriller doesn't need fancy computer-generated special effects...although there is a lot of gore and heavy-handed violence.
Leonardo DiCaprio was offered the role of Jim (Cillian Murphy's character), and Ewan McGreggor was considered for the same role.
Play Misty for Me (1971)
"Fatal Attraction" for the '70's
Clint Eastwood made his directorial debut with this thriller, filmed in 1971.
Eastwood plays a disc jockey who has a brief fling with a female fan (Jessica Walter). When he tries to end the relationship, she doesn't take it very well. That is when he discovers that this lady is in fact a real psycho who is obsessed with him and will do anything to be with him.
Great performances (especially Walter's as the mentally-disturbed fan), a swift pace, thrilling situations, and beautiful photography (filmed in Carmel, California...Eastwood's hometown) makes this movie worthwhile.
"Rear Window" for the 21st Century
Obvious but suspenseful thriller about a teenager (Shia LeBeouf) who is under house arrest after committing a crime and must wear a special ankle bracelet. His boredom eventually leads him to watch his neighbors and make observations about them. Other than a cute girl (Sarah Roemer) who just moved in next door, the teen notices a man (David Morse) who acts rather suspiciously, and might be a serial killer.
But could he be a serial killer, or is the teen's imagination running away with him? Not a typical teenage thriller one might expect, with great performances, realistically suspenseful situations, and a fast pace. Lots of fun, too.
Carl Ellsworth (who penned the script for 2005's "Red Eye") contributed on the screenplay for this film.